The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex

The Ashdown Forest Dispute 1876-1882
by Professor Brian Short
published by Sussex Record Society in 1997
Excerpts from this work have been reproduced on this site with the kind permission of Professor Brian Short

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William Augustus Raper
Abraham Edwards


Edwards, Abraham. 66. Living at Suntings Farm, Hartfield and in the service of Mr. Hale. Born 8 March 1813 at Quarock in Hartfield. Baptised at Hartfield.

Has cut litter for Mr. Hale for 16 years. Before that he cut for Fillery at New Bridge Mill, who is Lord De La Warr's tenant. All De La Warr's tenants take litter.

We lived at Quarock till I was about 8 years old then I remember moving to Cat Street, Hartfield. When about 12 years old I went to service. Before and after we moved, my Father worked for Mr. Combridge at Harts Farm and the summer before I went to service I worked for Mrs Combridge at 4d. a day. I then went to service at Lower Parrock Farm under Mr. Richard Spencer for 3 years as odd boy 1111 years and carter boy 11/2 years. He used to have litter off the Forest. As carter boy I used to go out and fetch litter and I used to see it used on the farm. I do not remember his having peat or turf or turning out stock on the Forest. Many other teams went on the Forest at that time for litter but I do not remember whose. The Forest was free to anyone. Any man could go and cut it and sell it to anybody. I next went to service with Mr. Philcox at St Tyes and North Clays as mate with the team. I then went to Old Lodge under a Mr. Gardner for 1/2 a year, then I worked about the summer and then I worked 7 years for Mr. Philcox who had moved to Lower Parrock Farm. During that 7 years I fetched turf off the Forest for the work people on the farm. I do not remember whether we had litter or not. Philcox then left and I worked 2 years for his successor Mr. Bonnick. I then went with his team on the Forest and bought litter off anyone who had cut it and carried it to Lower Parrock. He did not turn out. I then got married at the age of 30 or 31 and worked at various places on the border of the Forest in Hartfield for 2 or 3 years. Then I went to work 11 years for Mr. Fillery who had Newbridge Mill and Peculiars Farm and I lived at the farm house. During the whole of that time Mr. Fillery had litter every year off the Forest. I cut some of it and always helped bring it in. He turned his stock and pigs out at times on the Forest and got mould for manure. I always burnt turf and sometimes scrub from the Forest. Oak, holly and beech were not allowed to be cut but other woods have always been free all my time.

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